The New York Knicks haven’t signed any top players in free agency this summer, but new head coach David Fizdale believes the club will be able to “make some big moves” in the summer of 2019.
“[Knicks general manager] Scott [Perry] and [team president] Steve [Mills] have done an incredible job of lining it up so that we’re in a position next summer to make moves,” Fizdale said Tuesday at the Knicks’ summer league practice in Las Vegas, according to published reports. “I just feel like with the relationships we’ve built and our approach to the game and our view of players and the way we view guys and the way we treat guys and the culture we want to build, I really think we’re going to find somebody who fits the bill.
“As we get our culture in place, [injured All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis] gets healthy, we start moving into next summer, I really feel like we’ll have the bricks in place to make some big moves.”
Mills said last week that the club plans to have enough cap space to sign a maximum-salaried player in the 2019 offseason.
Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Kemba Walker are among those expected to be free agents that summer. According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Knicks were among the teams Irving wanted to be traded to last summer. Several executives expect Irving to give the Knicks consideration next summer if he tests free agency, per ESPN’s Ian Begley.
It’s worth noting that the Knicks need to shed significant salary to put themselves in position to sign Irving or any other max player.
New York also won’t be able to sell free agents on recent success; the club has missed the playoffs for five straight seasons and has won just one playoff series in the past 18 years. But Mills, Perry and Fizdale are confident that they can lure top players to New York.
“We feel like we’re going to put ourselves in a position where stars are going to want to come to us,” Mills said in an interview on ESPN Radio’s The Stephen A. Smith Show last week. “That’s what we think.”
“Guys want to be a part of a winning culture,” the team president added, noting that Madison Square Garden and the New York market will be a lure. “They want to be a part of a group of guys they want to play with. Porzingis is a magnet. He’s the reason why everyone interviewing for coaching jobs this year wanted this job.”
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